A woman was tortured and gang-raped by her husband and his friends at an isolated spot near Vettuthura beach in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram district on Thursday evening. Five people, including the husband, have been taken into custody.
Police sources said the victim went out with her husband thinking he was taking her to the beach. But when they arrived at the beach, the husband told her that they would drop in at his family friend's house nearby for a moment.
The survivor, however, told Manorama News that it was the third time her husband was taking her to the friend's house. In the earlier two instances, nothing untoward had happened.
On Thursday night, she said it was her husband who forced her to drink liquor with his friends. There were five or six men in the house.
Later, her husband and friends went outside leaving her and her older son in the house. Few minutes later, one of the men returned asking for water and when she gave him a glass, he held her on the shoulder. When the man left, the victim said an old woman at the house told her the men were dangerous and asked her to escape from the place.
Just when she was about to leave with her son, four men rushed to the house saying her husband had entered into a brawl with someone. She went with them, but as they were rushing to the brawl spot, the men pushed her and her son into a vehicle parked on the roadside. She and her son were then taken to an isolated forest-like place and brutalised.
Her husband was not there. The victim is also not sure whether she was raped with her husband's connivance.
She said her tormentors pressed cigarette butts on her skin and said she lost consciousness when one of them slapped her. They also tortured her son. Two of the accused are said to be younger than the victim, one is said to be a teenager.
By the time she regained consciousness, she found that there were no clothes on her body and could feel the cigarette burns on her skin. She then begged them to allow her to take her son home. She said they relented only when she promised to return after sending her son home.
She said instead of getting into their vehicle as they wanted she ran into the road and a biker who saw her arranged a car to take her home.
The victim then said her husband came to her mother's house and told her not to register a police complaint. He also wanted her to go with him, which her mother refused.
What ward members say
Local ward members Onmanorama talked to said the house near the beach in Vettuthura was quite notorious in the area. It belonged to Rajan, who is now one of the accused. It is said he sold 'ganja' in the house.
Police now suspect that the husband could have taken his wife to the house in return for a stock of 'ganja'. The victim has also told the police that one of the accused had promised to arrange a pick-up truck for her husband to carry fish.
Earlier, the police had said the woman was unable to remember details of the incident as she was in an inebriated state. She was earlier admitted to the Chirayinkeezhu hospital. There are several wounds on the body.
The woman has now been discharged from the hospital, and her health condition is satisfactory.